Naramata Bench Spring Tasting
Once again it was a pleasure be invited to the Naramata Bench Spring Media and Trade tasting held at the newly renovated New Westminster Quay. Naramata Bench is bounded by lakeshore, clay bluffs, vineyards,
orchards and wilderness.
Tree lined streets, artisan shops, museum, quaint country stores
and nature trails.
Naramata Bench has optimal growing conditions due to the proximity of Okanagan
which provides for a long growing season. We now list 34 wineries producing in the area.
The Naramata Bench Winery Association is one of the more active associations in Canada, they host a wide range of events throughout the year helping to make the Naramata Bench a great place to visit.
We started our tastings with one of Naramata's newest wines Serendipity Winery located on Debeck Road.
Last July we were one of the first to visit their facilities. This year they poured a very nice white - Serendipity White Lie - a nice aroma with hints of pineapple and pear.. crisp and good. Next was their Viognier 2009. I love a good Viognier and this was GOOD! Barbara enjoyed their 2007 Pinot Noir Please see Robert's Selection for more reviews.
Another winery we visited last July was Red Rooster. I thought their 2011
Gewürztraminer was exceptional.
along with their Merlot. Since we had visited the winery last summer and will be back this year we moved on to the next winery.
La Frenz is one of Naramata Benches's best known wineries with a great reputation. Barbara thinks their Port Style wines are sensational and I must agree. Their nv liqueur-muscat is a gold medal winner. I sampled their 2011 Riesling, a most unique taste with a little sparkle, hints of honey and citrus. I quite enjoyed it.
Winemaker Kathy Malone
One well known destination in Naramata is Hillside Estate Winery with nice gardens and a Bistro. Luckily we had the opportunity to chat with their charming winemaker Kathy Malone. Kathy began her career at Mission Hill moving to Hillside in 2008 producing award winning wines.
Muscat Ottonel is one of my favourite wines. Barbara wanted me to try their
Pinot Noir released in late March. The silky texture lingers on the palate with tones of rapsberry and strawberries,while a hint of spice adds to its beautiful complexity. A must try wine
Beside the Hillside table was Kettle Valley. I had to squeeze my way in only to get bumped aside. I managed to request their Pinot Noir before the crowd pushed me aside once again. Kettle Valley is a very popular winery.
I enjoyed their Pinot Noir, good aromas, great fruity flavours with a nice finish.
We paid a quick visit to Laughing Stock Winery, giving their Blind Trust Red a try. It is a blend of various wines the winery asks you to guess what
varietals before disclosing the assets which are kept under wrap and seal of the capsule. The server was not interested in my thoughts or sharing the combination with me so I moved on. Their flagship wine is
Exciting wines awaited us at Black Widow The Phobea and Hourglass were delicious. Van Westen Winery as usual had an outstanding Viognier, I like their Vino Grigio and of course their full body Volptuous blend is always a highlight.
Popular Grove Merlot was very good. Monster had very nice white. I was so busy chatting with Director of Sales Laurie Barnes I forgot to write down the actual name of the wine.
Lake Breeze is another of those popular wineries whose table is difficult to reach. However I managed to taste their Tempest 2008 a really nice smooth wine. Later Barbara
asked me return to their table and taste the Mertage 2009 which she called a five star wine. Who am I to argue!
I was also asked to return to the La Frenz table to try the 2008 Grand Total Reserve another gold medal wine.
The wine lived up to its expectation and might even have given Best of Show.
Misconduct was next, I went for their bend The Big Take . Chocolate, I do believe I tasted a hint of chocolate
but definitely hints of blueberry with a very nice finish. A great wine indeed.
D"Angelo winery was respresent by owner and winemaker Sal D'Angelo's daugher Stephanie. A very delighful young lady whom we had a chance to chat with. We had met her on our trip last summer. Today we tasted two of my favourites; Tamerlo and Sette Coppa. Once again Sal has produced two sensational reds.
Almost hidden away in the cornor was 3 Mile Estate Winery but how could you miss the bubbling smiling sisters Colleen Gunthe and Gail Rahn. These woman are very passionate about their business and their wines.
We rated 3 Mile as one of the wineries to watch in 2012. Under the guidence of their winemaker Kelly Symonds Colleen produced her first wine a new Red. It's a winner Colleen. The Pinot Gris was also very good light and refreshing.
Soon it was time to go home, there never is enough time to visit with everyone during these events, someone is always missed. Elephant Island Island Naramat's amazing Fruit winery sorry we missed you. Therapy, Barbara spoke with you (she has a raffle ticket for a weekend at your establishment) but I'm sorry I did not make it to your table.
We are looking forward to our trip to Naramata in September and will make it a must do to taste your Freudian Sip if Barbara's ticket is drawn it may be before September.
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